Learn to get your gear into neutral

It appears the “flash of the ankle” is once again the new cleavage.

Initially I frowned at the idea of wearing a midi skirt at my height, being a medium-sized 1.62m, but then I remembered the midi skirt I had bought a few years ago when it was all the rage with a crop top and went treasure hunting in my own closet for the piece which only got one wear.

Buying the piece turned out to be a good investment with its comeback and all and I also ended up rummaging through the pile of “fashion investments” I had once bought at the spur of the moment and not given more than a day of “air time” it deserved.

If I properly analyse my cupboard, only 30% of my clothing gets a good wear while the other 70% consists of trend buys that last a season, cost a fortune and now form part of Mount Never Wear.

I am betting that we all have a few selected items which we wear more often than others which form our very own basics.

These items form the neutral pallette which fill our weekdays and more often than not, these basics are neutrals which range from black and white to beige, denim, grey and animal print.

So, if like me, you’re clearing out your shelves to make space for your oversized winter knits, I suggest that you focus on your personal basics and make sure that the clothing you do keep are not simply going to fill your cupboard and make it difficult for you to get to the real gems you will actually wear.

So starting with the essential denim pants, having them stocked in blue, black and white (if you’re daring) in the cut and size you think is most flattering for your figure, is a wardrobe staple and one of the most flexible.

Add a pair of heels, a chiffon shirt and an oversized bag and you’re ready to go to the Artscape, or add a denim shirt or jacket to your denim jeans and offset the look with a statement necklace and hat and you’ll definitely be what’s “hot” right now.

Neutral coloured pants and leggings (if you’re into that) will match any item in your wardrobe, including wearing neutral colours on neutrals, such as neutral cream pants with a neutral shirt in a slightly different shade.

Break the look with a different neutral shoe like brown leather or black boots with a bag to match your shoes and some colour-popping lipstick and Bob’s your uncle.

When it comes to shirts, a range of well-cut shirts in shades of white, cream, navy blue, black, brown, grey and animal print, in a variety of textures, will be the perfect palette to mix and match with your neutral trousers.

A winter shoe wardrobe to complement your neutrals this season can include a pair of ankle and knee-length heeled boots in caramel brown and black, while a pair of neutral sneakers in black or grey will also team well with your basics, but personally I haven’t been able to lock onto the sneaker all that well. I’m blaming it on my big-ish feet.

And there you have it. These essentials will form your basics and can be mixed in various ways to create more than a hundred looks.

You can add some spice to your look with a colour-popping scarf, an animal print heel or a bag to add your personal signature to your look.

Playing around with textures in one outfit which are the same colour, such as wool and leather will also add interest in your outfit. It is a classy way to stand out and take your look to the next level.

Hopefully organising your basics has made it easier for you to expose those non-essential pieces and store them away for another season or bless someone else with them.

If you would like to chat to me about your basics, feel free to drop me an email at athina.may@inl.co.za